Brautigan > Revenge of the Lawn

This node of the American Dust website (formerly Brautigan Bibliography and Archive) provides comprehensive information about Richard Brautigan's collection of stories, Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-1970, Published in 1971, this collection of sixty-two stories was Brautigan's first published book of stories. Publication and background information is provided, along with reviews, many with full text. Use the menu tabs below to learn more.

          

Contents

These are the stories collected in Revenge of the Lawn in order of their appearance. Most were published previously to being collected for this book. First publication information is provided, along with reprinting and recording.
By default all items are presented in ascending order. Use the checkboxes above to present the items in alphabetical and/or reverse order.

 


First Published
"Two Stories by Richard Brautigan." TriQuarterly, 5 Winter 1966, pp. 55-59.
Published in Evanston, Illinois. Featured two stories: "Revenge of the Lawn" and "A Short History of Religion in California."

Recorded
Listening to Richard Brautigan, Harvest Records.
On one track of this album, entitled "Revenge of the Lawn," Brautigan reads the title story


First Published
"Three Stories by Richard Brautigan." Mademoiselle, no. 71, July 1970, pp. 104-105.
Featured three stories: "1692 Cotton Mather Newsreel," "Sand Castles," and "Pacific Radio Fire."


First Published
Ramparts, vol. 6, no. 5, December 1967, pp. 43-45.
Included a photograph by Baron Wolman of Brautigan, one of several he took in 1967 for publicity. Also included was a review by Stephen Schneck of Trout Fishing in America. Schneck participated on the Creative Arts Conference program with Brautigan in August 1969.



First Published
Rolling Stone, vol. 36, 28 June 1969, p. 38.

Recorded
Listening to Richard Brautigan, Harvest Records.
On one track from this album, titled Short Stories about California, Brautigan reads "A Short Story about Contemporary Life in California," "The Memory of a Girl," "The View from the Dog Tower," and "Pale Marble Movie." Listen to this track below

or, listen only to "A Short Story about Contemporary Life in California"


First Published
"Three Stories by Richard Brautigan." Mademoiselle, no 71, July 1970, pp. 104-105.
Featured three stories: "1692 Cotton Mather Newsreel," "Sand Castles," and "Pacific Radio Fire."


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 30, 5 April 1969, p. 28.


First Published
Change, 1963, n. pg.
The only issue of Brautigan's own literary journal, edited with Ron Loewinsohn, Change. Also called Change, the Fastest Car on Earth (Peter Manso and Michael McClure 65). Mimeographed sheets (8.5" x 11") with a photograph of Loewinsohn and Brautigan on the front cover. Published in San Francisco, California.


First Published
Esquire, no. 74, October 1970, pp. 152-153.
Featured a full-page color illustration of Brautigan by Richard Weigand.


First Published
Vogue, 1 October 1969, p. 126.
Written while living with Janice Meissner at 2830 California Street, San Francisco.


First Published
Evergreen Review, no. 84, November 1970, p. 41.
Published in New York, New York, 1957-1973. Edited by Barnet Lee "Barney" Rosset, Jr. (1922-2012) and Donald Merriam Allen (1912-2004) (numbers 1-6 only) with the backing of Grove Press.


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 48, 13 December 1969, p. 40.
Featured two stories: "Ernest Hemingway's Typist" and "A High Building in Singapore."




First Published
Parallel, vol. 1, no. 3, July-August 1966, pp. 10-12.
Published in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Edited by Peter Desbarats. Illustrated by Morris Danylewich.

Inspiration for this story came from Brautigan's reimagining of what folksingers call a "floater verse," a lyric easily transposed into different songs. For example, the lines "I'd rather live in some dark holler / where the sun refused to shine . . ." were used in at least two Appalachian folk songs: "Little Maggie" and "Hard, Ain't It Hard." Brautigan noted these lines in his notebook, and then changed them to "where the wild birds of heaven / can't hear me when I whine." These lines became the basis for his story.

Desbarats notes Brautigan on "The Editor's Page, saying, "The West Coast below Vancouver is also the home of Richard Brautigan, a young American writer, whose short story "The Wild Birds of Heaven" appears in this issue. His first novel is being published by Grove Press in New York."

Feedback from Denis R. Robillard
I received a telephone call late this afternoon from Peter Desbarats in London. He is a retired Journalism professor from University of Western Ontario. He also wrote several books and plied his early journalism trade in Montreal both with TV and print media. In 2006 he was the recipient of a Order of Canada medal.

Desbarats comes from a long line of printers. His ancestor George was Queens Printer and also edited the Illustrated News in Montreal for a couple of decades. His partner in this outfit was Leggo. George Desbarats later went on to buy some land around Sault Ste. Marie known as the Desbarats Territory and had interest in some mines there.

Peter called me in response to a letter I sent him in London in September. I was trying to track down the connection that he may have had to a Montreal magazine which published Richard Brautigan's short story "The Wild Birds of Heaven" in 1966.

Here is what he told me over the telephone.

Peter had been doing some freelance work in Montreal when he was approached by Douglas Cohen, a real estate broker and lawyer from Montreal, who wanted to launch a literary magazine which would have international scope and reach.

Cohen wanted Desbarats to be the editor of this fledgling outfit. The managing editor was a woman from the United States who had experience with magazines. Their advertising was handled by a retired ad man named Peter Mathiews.

In 1966, the first issue of Parallel came out. The issue in which Brautigan's story appeared was the August 1966 issue, Volume 1 Number 3 which ran to 58 pages.

On The Editor's Page Desbarats dedicated a few lines to Brautigan saying he was a young American writer who was soon publishing his first novel under Grove Press.

Desbarats didn't remember the press run by says that about 10,000 copies of Parallel sold in Montreal and other city centers.

Parallel was published in the mezzanine area of a building complex owned by Douglas Cohen, which happened to house a beauty shop. Desbarats told Cohen to leave the cosmetology equipment there and he and other staff members worked around it to produce Parallel.
— Denis R. Robillard. Email to John F. Barber, 28 October 2008.


First Published
Vogue, no. 156, 1 August 1970, p. 98.
Brautigan sent this story, based on an anecdote he heard from friend Bill Brown, to Jory Sherman at Broadside, a men's magazine published in North Hollywood, California, who rejected it saying, "As it stands, there is no way in hell that I can buy this. What you have here is more of a slice of life with very little point as it turns out."


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 48, 13 December 1969, p. 40.
Featured two stories: "Ernest Hemingway's Typist" and "A High Building in Singapore."

The woman referred to as Ernest Hemingway's typist was Valerie Hemingway (nee Valerie Danby-Smith), an Irish reporter, who met Hemingway and his wife, Mary, in Spain in 1959 and traveled with them as Hemingway's personal secretary for the next two years through France and Spain and lived with them in Cuba. Five years after his death in 1961, Valerie married Hemingway's estranged son, Gregory.

Valerie Hemingway's book, Running with the Bulls: My Years with the Hemingways (New York: Random House, 2004), tells the story of her time with Papa Hemingway and her eventual marriage to his son, Gregory.

Robert F. Burgess includes an interview with "a matronly friend [Valerie Hemingway] who was only 19-years-old when Hemingway hired her in Pamplona to work for him as a researcher/typist in Cuba after they met at his last fiesta in 1959" in his book Hemingway's Paris and Pamplona, Then and Now: A Personal Memoir (Lincoln, NE: iUniverse. 2000).

The identity of the "friend" who hired Valerie as a typist in New York and then told Brautigan prompting him to write his story is more difficult. He might have been Irish playwright Brendan Behan (The Hostage), or playwright Samson Raphaelson.


First Published
Vogue, no. 158, July 1971, pp. 96-97.
Appeared there under the title "A Homage to the San Francisco YMCA."


First Published
R. C. Lion, no. 2, 1966, pp. 4-5.
8.5" x 11"; 26 pages; Mimeographed sheets; stapled; Cover same stock as interior pages;
Published by the University of California, Berkeley Rhymers Club, Berkeley, California. Subtitled "The Magazine That Submerges Periodically" and called variously Our Sea Lion or Ah, Sue Lyon. Only three issues. Edited by David Bromige, Sherril Jaffe, David Schaff, and Ron Loewinsohn. This issued featured work by Anselm Hollo, Richard Brautigan, David Schaff, Jo Marsten, Ted Berrigan, David Bromige, Ross Angier, Sherril Jaffe, Bob May, Red Baren, David Schaff (again), Johannes Amicus, Jim St. Jim, and Ron Loewinsohn, in that order.


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 24, 21 December 1968, p. 24.
Featured three stories: "Crazy Old Women Are Riding the Buses of America Today," "Fame in California," and "A Need for Gardens." The title of "Fame in Califorina" modified to "Fame in California/1964" for this collection.


First Published
Vogue, 1 February 1971, p. 192.


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 25, 4 January 1969, p. 30.
Featured two stories: "The Ghost Children of Tacoma" and "Lint." "The Ghost Children of Tacoma" is an autobiographical accounting of the early years of World War II in Tacoma, Washington. He recounted killing imaginary enemies and playing airplane in the house with his sister. Brautigan writes, "The children of Tacoma, Washington, went to war in December 1941. It seemed like the thing to do, following in the footsteps of their parents and other grown-ups who acted as if they knew what was happening (73)."


First Published
Kaleidoscope-Milwaukee, vol. 3, no. 9, 12 October 1970, pp. 1, 10.
Published biweekly Box 5457, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53701.


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 27, 15 February 1969, 10.
This issue focused on Groupies, females (generally) who followed and attempted to attract the attentions of rock musicians.






I was walking down the railroad tracks outside of Monterey on Labor Day in 1965, watching the Sierra shoreline of the Pacific Ocean. It has always been a constant marvel to me how much the ocean along there is like a high Sierra river with a granite shore and fiercely-clear water and turns of green and blue with chandelier foam shining in and out of the rocks like the currents of a river high in the mountains.

It's hard to believe that it's the ocean along there if you don't look up. Sometimes I like to think of that shore as a small river and carefully forget that it's 11,000 miles to the other bank.

I went around a bend in the river and there were a dozen or so frog people having a picnic on a sandy little beach surrounded by granite rocks. They were all in black rubber suits. They were standing in a circle eating big slices of watermelon. Two of them were pretty girls who wore soft felt hats on top of their suits.

The frog people were of course all talking frog people talk. Often they were child-like and a summer of tadpole dialogue went by in the wind. Some of them had weird blue markings on the shoulders and down the arms of their suits like a brand-new blood system.

There were two German police dogs playing around the frog people. The dogs were not wearing black rubber suits and I did not see any suits lying on the beach for them. Perhaps their suits were behind a rock.

A frog man was floating on his back in the surf, eating a slice of watermelon. He swirled and eddied with the tide.

A lot of their equipment was leaning against a large theater-like rock that would have given Prometheus a run for his money. There were some yellow oxygen tanks lying next to the rock. They looked like flowers.

The frog people changed into a half-circle and then two of them ran into the sea and turned back to throw pieces of watermelon at the others and two of them started wrestling on the shore in the sand and the dogs were barking around them.

The girls were very pretty in their poured-on black rubber suits and gentle clowning hats. Eating watermelon, they sparkled like jewels in the crown of California.


First Published
Kulchur, no. 13, Spring 1964, pp. 51-55.
Published in New York, New York spring 1960 (issue #1) through winter 1965 (issue #20) and offered serious commentary or criticism about literature, film, politics, and music. This issue (no. 13) was edited by Lita Hornick, Frank O'Hara (art), and Leroi Jones (music). Contributing editors: Charles Olson, Gilbert Sorrentino, A. B. Spellman, and Bill Berks. Authors include Allen Ginsberg ("The Change: Kyoto-Tokyo Express July 18, 1963"), Gilbert Sorrentino ("The Art of Hubert Selby"), Pauline Kael ("Film Review"), Warren Tallman ("Robert Creeley's Portrait of the Artist"), Allan Kaplan, and Joe LeSuer.
The front cover photograph was taken from Andy Warhol's movie The Kiss (1963, 54 minutes).

Lita Hornick, editor, recounts the contents saying that in Kulchur 13, "Richard Brautigan, then a relatively unknown writer, contributed a characteristic piece of fiction called "The Post Offices of Eastern Oregon" (Hornick. "Kulchur: Memoir." TriQuarterly, no. 43, Fall, 1978, pp. 280-297).


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 42, 20 September 1969, p 25.

Recorded
Listening to Richard Brautigan, Harvest Records.
On one track from this album, titled "Short Stories about California," Brautigan reads "A Short Story about Contemporary Life in California," "The Memory of a Girl," "The View from the Dog Tower," and "Pale Marble Movie." Listen to this track below

or, listen only to "Pale Marble Movie"


First Published
Jeopardy, no. 6, March 1970, p. 90.
Published in Bellinghman, Washington, by the Associated Student Body of Western Washington State College.
Also included work by Keith Abbott, Greg Kuzma, Anselm Hollo, Noritoshi Tachibana (translated by Yozo Shibuya and Ron Bayes), Stephen Dunn, Richard Eberhart, James Den Boer, Charles Bukowski, Joyce Odam, William Stafford, Louis Ginsberg, Ann Mennebroker, John Stevens Wade, Stanley Cooperman, Stanley Plumley, Collete Inez, Terry Stokes, and Grace Butler.


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 67, 15 October 1970, p. 22.


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 26, 1 February 1969, p. 26.


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 34, 31 May 1969, p. 37.


First Published
"Two Stories by Richard Brautigan." TriQuarterly, no. 5, Winter 1966, pp. 55-59.
Featured two stories: "Revenge of the Lawn" and "A Short History of Religion in California." The latter was inspired by meeting a group of Christians while Brautigan was camping with his 3.5-year-old daughter, Ianthe. Published in Evanston, Illinois.

Reprinted
Rolling Stone, no. 37, 12 July 1969, p. 37.




First Published
"Little Memoirs: Three Tales by Richard Brautigan." Playboy, December 1970, pp. 164-165.
Featured three stories: "Corporal," "The Literary Life in California/1964," and "Halloween in Denver."


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 25, 4 January 1969, p. 30.
Featured two stories: "The Ghost Children of Tacoma" and "Lint."


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 33, 17 May 1969, p. 12.
Appeared here as "A Complete Movie of Germany and Japan." Title changed to "A Complete History of Germany and Japan" for this collection.


First Published
Vogue, 1 January 1970, p. 179.
A story about Brautigan's impoverished childhood in the Pacific Northwest


First Published
Nice, vol. 1, no. 1, 1967, n. pg.
Published in Brightlingsea, Essex, England, 1966-1967. Edited by Thomas Clark. Nice is the tenth in a series of issues, each described as "a one shot magazine," each edited by Clark and published as "Vol. 1 No. 1." Each issue had a different cover title: "Once," "Twice," "Thrice," "Thrice and 1/2?," "Frice," "Vice," "Spice," "Slice," "Ice," and "Nice." All were collected in The Once Series and reprinted by Krause Reprint Company (New York, 1970).

Clark apparently solicited this story for his magazine. In a letter to Clark, dated September 7, 1965, Brautigan thanks him for his postcard (the request for a submission?) and says, "I have enclosed a short story called "The Armored Car" that I hope will interest you." Brautigan asks for "two copies of the issue that it [the story] is printed in" and that the copyright notice is printed with the story, "if you decide you want to use the story." Brautigan concludes his letter, "Anyway, your magazine sounds like fun." LEARN more.

The dedication for this story reads: "For Janice."
This was Janice Meissner with whom Brautigan lived from November 1964-May 1966. The couple lived together at three different addresses: 533 Divisadero Street (apartment 4), 544 Divisadero Street, and 2830 California Street. Photographer Erik Weber photographed them together. Brian Nation lived nearby and provides an account of his relationship with Brautigan and Meissner.


First Published
"Little Memoirs: Three Tales by Richard Brautigan." Playboy December 1970, pp. 164-165.
Featured three stories: "Corporal," "The Literary Life in California/1964," and "Halloween in Denver."


First Published
Now Now, no. 2, 1965, n. pg.
Counterculture magazine published in San Francisco, California, by Ari Publications from 1963 (issue #1) to 1965 (issue #3). Brautigan began this piece in March 1964. It deals with his general sense of lack of attachment in his life at the time. Interestingly, there is no self-pity.

Now Now was edited by Charles Plymell who said, "I sat with Richard Brautigan in some of the new head shops and discussed the scene. He had a sense of what the new generation liked to hear. I took some of his poems to publish in an issue of Now magazine (289). . . . It was the time of nude parties and free love, when women's bodies were painted on. The last time I saw Richard Brautigan was at such a party" (Plymell 292-293). Plymell also printed the first issues of Zap comic with illustrations by Robert Crumb. Other contributors included Philip Whalen, Bruce Conner, Wallace Berman (collage), Allen Ginsberg, Lew Welch, Michael Bowen (collage), George Herms, and Dennis Hopper.


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 24, 21 December 1968, p. 24.
Featured three stories: "Crazy Old Women Are Riding the Buses of America Today," "Fame in California," and "A Need for Gardens." The title of "Fame in Califorina" modified to "Fame in California/1964" for this collection.


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 39, 9 August 1969, p. 37.

Recorded
Listening to Richard Brautigan, Harvest Records.
On one track from this album, titled "Short Stories about California," Brautigan reads "A Short Story about Contemporary Life in California," "The Memory of a Girl," "The View from the Dog Tower," and "Pale Marble Movie." Listen to this track below

or, listen only to "The Memory of a Girl"


First Published
Sum, no. 3, May 1964, p. 23.
Subtitled "A Newsletter of Current Workings."
7" x 8.5"; 33 pages counting inside front and back covers
Mimeographed, folded and stapled
Published in Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 1963 (issue #1) - April 1965 (issue #7)
Edited by Fred Wah of the English Department at the University of New Mexico
Ron Loewinshohn, John Keys, and Ken Irby were contributing editors
"Notes," on the inside front cover say, "Richard Brautigan is copyrighting his prose from San Francisco."

Included works by David Bromige, Robert Duncan, John Wieners, Frank Davey, Drummond Hadley, George Bowering, Carol Berge, David Cull, Jim St. Jim, Denise Levertov, Alan Kimball, Ken Irby, Steven Slavik, Sam Abrams, John Keys, Richard Brautigan, a review of Louis Zukefsky's Found Objects by Fred Wah, Ed Sanders, Paul Blackburn, Sylvester Pollet, Pat **?**, Gael Tunbull, and Fred Wah, in that order.

Selected Reprints
San Francisco Arts Festival: A Poetry Folio 1964. East Wind Printers, 1964.
Limited Edition of 300 copies
Broadside; 12.75" x 20" on heavy cream-colored paper
Illustrated by Richard Correll
Signed by both Correll and Brautigan (although Brautigan did not sign all copies).

Published in San Francisco, California, as one of ten broadsides for the San Francisco Arts Festival Commission. The collection was contained in a folio-sized folder. The other nine similiarly-sized broadsides were all illustrated by Correll and signed by him and their respective authors (except for David Meltzer who refused to sign his contribution).

The other nine broadsides are
James R. Broughton, "I Heard in the Shell"
[Burgess] Jess Collins, "When Did Morning Wind Rip Callow Flowers in May"
Max Finstein, "There's Always a Moon in America"
Andrew Hoyem, "Stranger"
Lenore Kandel, "Vision of the Skull of The Prophet"
Joanne Kyger, "The Parsimmons Are Falling"
David Meltzer, "Station"
Gary Snyder, "Across Lamarck Col"
George Stanley, "The Rescue"


First Published
Coyote's Journal, no. 5/6, 1966, p. 81.
116 pages
Published in Eugene, Oregon, and San Francisco, California. Edited by James Koller and Edward van Aelstyn. Also included work by Gary Snyder, Robert Duncan, James Koller, Paul Blackburn, Joanne Kyger, Allen Ginsberg, Larry Eigner, Anselm Hollo, Richard Duerden, Tom Pickard, Philip Whalen, and Clark Coolidge.

Imprint varies. Number 1-4 published in Eugene, Oregon; number 5-8 in San Francisco, California by City Lights; Number 9- in Berkeley, CA by Book People; Number 11 in Brunswick, Maine by Coyote Books; Number 12 in Brattleboro, Vermont by Coyote Books.

Reprinted
Grosseteste Review, vol. 1, no. 3, Winter 1968.
Published in Lincoln, England. This 48-page issue also featured work by Joanne Kyger, David Chaloner, John Newlove, Curtis Zahn, Peter Riley, and Man Wright.


First Published
Evergreen Review, no. 76, March 1970, p. 51.
Published in New York, New York, 1957-1973. Edited by Barnet Lee "Barney" Rosset, Jr. (1922-2012) and Donald Merriman Allen (1912-2004) (numbers 1-6 only) with the backing of Grove Press.


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 41, 6 September 1969, p. 30.


First Published
"Little Memoirs: Three Tales by Richard Brautigan." Playboy, December 1970, pp. 164-165.
Featured three stories: "Corporal," "The Literary Life in California/1964," and "Halloween in Denver," which was written about an experience shared with Valerie Estes in her apartment at 1429 Kearny Street in San Francisco, California.

Reprinted
International Times, no. 119, 16-30 December 1971, p. 16.
London underground magazine started by Barry Miles. Featured an illustration by "Yellow Pig." Cover shows Fat Freddy as Father Christmas. Contents include a pullout paranoia board game, a full-page photograph of Jim Morrison, and a review of a Yoko Ono film.


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 61, 25 June 1970, p. 11.


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 31, 19 April 1969, p. 8.

Recorded
Listening to Richard Brautigan, Harvest Records.
On one track, titled "Short Stories about California," Brautigan reads "A Short Story about Contemporary Life in California," "The Memory of a Girl," "The View from the Dog Tower," and "Pale Marble Movie." Listen to this track below

or, listen only to "The View from the Dog Tower"


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 63, 23 July 1970, p. 15.


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 24, 21 December 1968, p 24.
Featured three stories: "Crazy Old Women Are Riding the Buses of America Today," "Fame in California," and "A Need for Gardens." The title of "Fame in Califorina" modified to "Fame in California/1964" for this collection.



First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 28, 1 March 1969, p. 30.


First Published
"Three Stories by Richard Brautigan." Mademoiselle, no. 71, July 1970, pp. 104-105.
Featured three stories: "1692 Cotton Mather Newsreel," "Sand Castles," and "Pacific Radio Fire."


First Published
Rolling Stone, no. 29, 15 March 1969, p. 25.



The World War I Lost Angeles Airplane

First Published
Solotaroff, Theodore, editor. New American Review, Number 12, Simon and Schuster, 1971, pp. 123-126.
The inspiration for this story came in a telephone call to Virginia Alder, Brautigan's first wife, in the fall of 1960 regarding the death of her father, Grover Cleveland Alder, in Los Angeles, California. Virginia was not in the apartment and Brautigan took the call. When she returned, Brautigan told her of her father's death that afternoon. Nearly ten years later, in the last weeks of 1969, Brautigan wrote of that afternoon in 1960, and chronicled the life of his father in law in thirty-three short, numbered passages.

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